Filed Under (Beninese culture, General) by Rob on 19-01-2008

On Friday, Rob went to meet the King of Allada!

Here’s his royal palace:


Not quite Buckingham, but not to worry! We had to wait for a couple of hours before he would grant us an audience, then we were invited into his throne room. Here’s the throne:


Each king of Allada has a symbol which characterizes them. This king’s symbol is the Lion (yes, I know they’re technically leopards or cheetah’s or something, but apparently it’s the same word as lion in Fon!) He is a real king, descended from the first King of Allada in the 1500’s. This one is the 16th King of Allada, although he does not have the same ruling powers as his ancestors (remind you of anyone closer to home?!) Here’s the man himself – you can tell he’s a king because: (i) He has a special king’s stick (left hand), (ii) He sits on a posh chair, (iii) Someone’s holding an umbrella over him, even though he’s indoors.


Although he initially told me off for having lived in Benin for over 3 years before coming to see him, we had a nice chat for about half an hour. I asked him what he thought about traditional song genre usage in church (a spot of research) and he talked about the importance of tolerance between religions and of a cohabitation pacifique between them. Something we all need to remember!

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